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TOWERS OF LONDON: LOUISE BOURGEOIS

HOW VERY APPROPRIATE that the new Tate Modern, with its towering smokestack on the Thames, debuted in May with a work to match its equally towering ambitions. In the museum’s coldly vast Turbine Hall, all metal and brick with braced skylights above, sit three towers in raw steel by Louise Bourgeois and, on a bridge neatly crossing the 115-foot-high, 500-foot-long space, one of her signature spindly spiders (Maman, 1999), now sized up to compete with the clamorous hall.

Frances Morris, senior curator at Tate Modern, oversaw the immense, down-to-the-last-second creation of the works entitled I Do, I Undo, and I Redo, 1999–2000. The first in a five-year series of commissioned installations for the hall, Bourgeois’s effort went from five-foot-tall maquettes to roughly fifty-foot towers in sixteen months.

“I first proposed the idea of Louise doing something when her assistant Jerry Gorovoy came

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